UN, Western diplomats denounce murder of teenage Israeli student

United Nations envoy calls killing of Dvir Sorek ‘cowardly, dangerous,’ while US, EU and UK all issue condemnations, offer condolences to victim’s family

Israelis embrace next to the scene where Dvir Sorek was found stabbed to death, outside the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz, on August 8, 2019. (Hazem Bader/AFP)
Israelis embrace next to the scene where Dvir Sorek was found stabbed to death, outside the West Bank settlement of Migdal Oz, on August 8, 2019. (Hazem Bader/AFP)

Diplomats from the United Nations, European Union, United States and Britain condemned the killing of yeshiva student Dvir Sorek on Thursday, and offered condolences to the family.

The body of Sorek, who was in a program combining religious study and military service and would have turned 19 next week, was found near the settlement of Migdal Oz in Gush Etzion early Thursday with stab wounds. He was last seen on Wednesday traveling to Jerusalem to buy a gift for one of his teachers.

While reports initially suggested Sorek may have been killed during a kidnapping attempt, defense officials investigating the murder assessed that there was no effort to kidnap him before he was stabbed to death.

Instead, investigators believe that the terrorists noticed Sorek on the road leading to Migdal Oz, murdered him and dumped his body on the side of the road.

Dvir Sorek, 19, a yeshiva student and off-duty IDF soldier who was found stabbed to death outside a West Bank settlement on August 8, 2019 (Courtesy)

United Nations peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov called the West Bank murder of Sorek “cowardly and dangerous,” condemned terrorism and said the act “undermines trust” between Israelis and Palestinians.

“It serves those who want escalation,” he added.

The United Kingdom’s ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, said he was “shocked by the callous murder,” and expressed hope that the killers are brought to justice.

European Union Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret said there was “no justification for violence” and offered “deepest condolences to the family.”

Those comments were echoed in the statement posted by German Ambassador Susanne Wasum-Rainer.

US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt condemned Palestinian terror group Hamas for praising the as-yet unidentified assailants as “heroic.”

“More murder & boasting by Hamas – reprehensible actions by an org that chooses death & destruction over taking care of the people they claim to lead. Our deepest condolences to the family,” Greenblatt tweeted.

Screen capture from an interview with US Middle East Peace Envoy Jason Greenblatt with PBS News Hour, published July 17, 2019. (PBS)

No Palestinian terror group has claimed credit for the attack, but both Hamas and Islamic Jihad have praised Sorek’s murder.

Authorities have launched a wide-scale manhunt for the attackers and the army sent further troops to the West Bank.

Sorek’s funeral began at 8 p.m. in the settlement of Ofra, his hometown.

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